Enjoy an American Thanksgiving and a host of other events on this special holiday tour. As well as the regular offerings on our New York performing arts tours – opera, symphony, private visits to galleries such as MoMA – we’ve included seasonal events that are only on offer at this special time of year, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and legendary Rockettes’ performances. There’s also some great new season stage drama and musicals on offer. Accommodation, as always, is in spacious premium plus rooms in the perfectly located Warwick Hotel on 54th Street.
The itinerary includes eight performances:
Hugh Jackman starring in Meredith Willson’s classic The Music Man, with two-time Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster
Grand Tier seating for an opera at the Metropolitan Opera, at the Lincoln Center
A performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall
A performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall
The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center
George Balanchine’s The Nutracker, a sumptuous favourite performed every holiday season by the New York Ballet
An evening of jazz at ‘Jazz at the Lincoln Center’
A new stage play from the Broadway 2020-2021 season
Experience some of the world’s top art and history museums and dining in a selection of the city’s best restaurants:
Art, Architecture and History
A private out-of-hours viewing of the Museum of Modern Art with a museum lecturer
Excursion to Philip Johnson’s Glass House, north of the city
Expert-led tour of The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exquisite medieval collection on the northern tip of Manhattan
Charming small galleries, including the Guggenheim and The Neue Galerie
Architectural walking tours of Midtown, Downtown, Chelsea, featuring Beaux-Arts, Art Deco and post-modern masterpieces
Dinner at the Michelin two-star restaurant The Modern, inside the Museum of Modern Art
A traditional American Thanksgiving banquet lunch with all the trimmings at Alain Ducasse’s upscale Benoit New York
Dinner in The Grand Tier Restaurant, set within the Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera House
Lunch in the Morgan Library, containing an exquisite collection of extremely rare manuscripts and books
Lunch at the Capital Grille, a fine dining restaurant set inside an old Wall Street bank
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in New York. Qantas, Delta and United Airlines offer the most direct regular flights to and from New York, with stopovers in Los Angeles or Dallas Fort Worth. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.
Sunday November 22: Arrival
Flights from Australia arrive in New York in the late afternoon. In the early evening, we gather for drinks in the hotel bar. (If you have arrived early we suggest you take the AIA harbour cruise today. Academy Travel can arrange bookings.)
Monday November 23: Downtown – Carnegie hall
We begin our exploration of New York’s unique history and architecture in the Downtown area, where the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was founded in the 17th century, as well as Wall Street and the heart of the financial district so central to New York’s rise. Sights include the 9/11 Memorial, the Woolworth Building, and New York City Hall. We have a welcome lunch at the Capital Grille, set inside an old Wall Street bank vault. The afternoon is free, before we kick off our performances in style this evening with a concert at the legendary Carnegie Hall. The venue has superb acoustics and a long tradition of outstanding performances. (B, L)
Performance details Venue: Carnegie Hall
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced
Tuesday November 24: Museum Mile – The Metropolitan Opera
Today we visit two stunning museums on the Upper East Side. The Neue Galerie, specialising in German and Austrian art, has become a must-see after the famous acquisition of Gustav Klimt’s Woman in Gold. Not far away is the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s last architectural masterpiece. We will inspect the building and tour the collection. From the Guggenheim, we make our way into Central Park, one of the greatest achievements in urban landscape architecture, and take in many of the unique but often missed features designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The evening sees us head to the Lincoln Center for a true New York experience – dinner at the famous The Grand Tier Restaurant and then a performance of the Metropolitan Opera, one of the cultural landmarks of the city. (B, D)
Performance details Venue: Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced
Wednesday November 25: Midtown – The Music Man
This morning we explore some of the Art-Deco architecture of New York’s Midtown district, including the Chrysler Building, the United Nations, the Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central Terminal. We’ll also go to the Top of the Rock and get the best view of New York from the top of the Rockefeller Center. This evening we make our way to Broadway for the highly anticipated return of Hugh Jackman in the new Broadway revival of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. One of the most universally cherished treasures of American musical theatre, The Music Man was an instant smash hit when it premiered on Broadway on December 19, 1957, and went on to win five Tony Awards, including the prize for Best Musical. (B)
Performance details Venue: A Broadway theatre
Program: Meredith Willson’s The Music Man Performers: Hugh Jackman (Professor Harold Hill), Sutton Foster (Marian Paroo), Jerry Zaks (Director)
Thursday November 26: Thanksgiving in New York
We celebrate Thanksgiving today, beginning with the Macy’s Parade, New York’s favourite event and the world’s biggest parade, with spectacular floats and displays to bring a smile to all age groups. We then feast on a traditional American Thanksgiving banquet at Benoit New York, a contemporary French/American bistro by Alain Ducasse. For those who wish to walk off lunch, we will take an optional stroll through the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights and across the Brooklyn Bridge, making our way across the East River. (B, L)
Friday November 27: New Canaan – Jazz
Today we travel north by train to visit Philip Johnson’s stunning Glasshouse in the town of New Canaan, Connecticut. Actually, an estate comprising several buildings, this iconic example of 20th-century architecture was created between 1949 and the 1980s. Johnson is a key figure in American architecture, and a visit to his estate is a great day trip to break up our stay in New York. We stop for a lunch break in New Canaan before returning to New York, where the Black Friday sales are in full swing! The afternoon is free for you to shop till your heart’s content, if you so desire. This evening we enjoy a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in their magnificent auditorium overlooking Central Park. (B)
Performance details Venue: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Program: To be advised
Performers: To be advised
Saturday November 28: Chelsea – New York Philharmonic
This morning we stroll the High Line, a beautiful urban park situated on a former elevated rail line through the chic Chelsea and Meatpacking districts. After free time in Chelsea Markets, we visit the newly re-opened Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by American socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and moved to its new home in 2015, a Renzo Piano designed edifice. This evening we return to the Lincoln Center for a concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. (B)
Performance details Venue: David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced
Sunday November 29: Gospel – Broadway Play
For early risers, there is the chance to witness a gospel church service in the Harlem neighbourhood and tour some of the sights in northern Manhattan. In the afternoon we return to Broadway for a matinee performance of a stage play, selected from the 2020 season. (B)
Performance details Venue: A Broadway theatre
Program: A stage play, to be announced
Performers: To be announced
Monday November 30: The Met
Today we spend the morning at The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval department, located on the northern tip of Manhattan. We then travel to the Museum’s main campus, where you can select from the 50 departments presenting outstanding art from pre-history to the 20th century and from all corners of the globe. You may like to explore The American Wing, which houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of American art in existence, and you can enjoy lunch in one of the many museum restaurants across the campus. Public tours are regularly scheduled throughout the day, which are free to join. The evening is at leisure. (B)
Tuesday December 1: Great Libraries – The Nutcracker
This morning we will take a tour of the magnificent New York Public Library, as well as Bryant Park, Herald’s Square and the Empire State Building area. We then have a guided tour of the Morgan Library, containing an exquisite collection of extremely rare manuscripts and books, where we will enjoy lunch. In the evening, we return to the Lincoln Center for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a timeless classic performed every Christmas by the New York City Ballet company (B, L).
Performance details Venue: David Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Program: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Performers: New York City Ballet Company
Wednesday December 2: Museum of Modern Art – The Rockettes
A highlight of our tour is this morning’s private tour of MoMA, New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art. Before the doors open to the public, a museum lecturer guides us through the museum’s greatest works. In the afternoon, we’ll attend a performance of the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular, showcasing dance and choreography at Radio City Music Hall since 1932. Tonight, we return to MoMA for our farewell dinner at The Modern. This Michelin two-star restaurant overlooks MoMA’s sculpture courtyard and is certain to be one of the culinary highlights of the tour. After dinner, we continue the Christmas cheer by witnessing the spectacular lights of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and the Saks Fifth Avenue façade. (B, D)
Performance details Venue: Radio City Music Hall
Program: Christmas Spectacular Performers: The Rockettes
Thursday December 3: Departure
Before we farewell New York, our final morning is free for those interested in squeezing in some extra shopping or additional sights. In the mid-afternoon there is a transfer to JFK airport for those departing New York. (B)
Dr Anna Lebovic
An historian and educator, with a doctorate on the history of America’s pre-eminent fashion magazine, Vogue.
Anna has a strong personal interest in literature, the arts and food (the good things in life!), and a particular expertise in the United States and the history of fashion.
Anna was awarded a BA and PhD in History from the University of Sydney, and her doctorate was the first academic history of America’s pre-eminent fashion magazine, Vogue. Her research has been supported by a number of prestigious institutions, including the Institute Francais de la Mode in Paris, and she has presented at numerous conferences internationally, including meetings of the Association of Dress Historians in London and the Organization of American Historians in New Orleans. She is currently at work on her first book on Vogue, which draws on previously unseen material from the Conde Nast archive in New York. Her research has also been published (or is forthcoming) in leading academic journals, including The Journal of Women’s History and Gender & History.
As a Research Associate and Lecturer at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Anna lectured in American Studies for several years. A passionate teacher, she has also taught American history at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, and currently teaches media studies at Macquarie University.
Anna is delighted to design and lead Academy Travel’s first fashion-focused tour. In 2020, “New York: The Art of Fashion” will explore the subject of American style, and trace the profound influence fashion has had upon the political life and cultural identity of one of the most exciting cities in the world – New York.
Our four-star hotel is very conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, on 54th Street. We have booked premier-plus grade rooms. These are large and comfortable, each with modern amenities. The hotel is in walking distance of many of New York’s most popular attractions. The hotel has just completed a major renovation. The Warwick has an interesting history. It was built in 1926 for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, primarily as a residence for his Hollywood friends, among whom was his mistress Marion Davies. Over the years guests have included James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Actor Cary Grant lived in the Warwick for 12 years.
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.